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Demetrius Andrade vs. Dario Fabian Pucheta tonight

Demetrius AndradeBy Allan Fox: Former WBO light middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (21-0, 14 KOs) will be fighting for the first time tonight in over a year when he faces twice beaten Dario Fabian “El Gallo” Pucheta (20-2, 11 KOs) in a 10 round fight at the Mohegan Sun Casino, in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The vacant WBO International junior middleweight title will be on the line tonight in the Andrade-Pucheta fight. The fact that the WBO strap is on the line suggests that Andrade could be targeting newly crowned WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith, who recently defeated American John Thompson last weekend in beating him by a 7th round knockout.

The 6’1” Andrade hasn’t fought since June of 2014, when he beat former #1 WBO Brian Rose by a 7th round knockout. Andrade had fights that he was attempting to get after that win, but they slipped through his fingers.

The World Boxing Organization finally stripped Andrade of his title for failing to defend it within a year’s time. However, the 2008 Olympian Andrade plans on getting busy once again and going after another world title in the near future.

Andrade hasn’t fought in 16 months, so you can expect there to be a certain amount of rust in his game that will need to be shaken off during the course of the bout.

“I’ve been there, done that,” Andrade said. “It was kind of like when I was an amateur turning pro; I think, I didn’t fight for eight months. Yeah, it’s finally hit me that I’m fighting again, but this is something I’ve done all my life, and it should have been happening on a regular basis. Training camp was great. Inside and outside of the ring (during his ring hiatus), I’ve been preparing for life-changing stuff, not just this one fight. But I’m fully focused on this fight against a tough, hungry opponent.”

Andrade hasn’t been able to get the big names to fight him despite his interest in facing one of them. He’s interested in facing the likes of Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather Jr and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Andrade would likely jump at the chance to fight IBO/WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, former WBO 160lb champ Peter Quillin, WBA champ Daniel Jacobs, WBO 160lb champ Andy Lee or WBA Super World 154lb champion Erislandy Lara. But getting those guys to show some interest in fighting Anrade may prove to be impossible.

Andrade is in a situation similar to Golovkin. He’s just too good right now, and that scares off a lot of the other top fighters at 147, 154 and 160. Andrade has the kind of frame that would allow him to easily move up to middleweight if a big fight presented itself, but thus far none of the big ones have come about.

“I’m in the best shape of my life,” Andrade said, “physically, mentally and spiritually. I’m going to look spectacular Saturday night doing what I do best.”

Andrade weighed in at 153.5 pounds during Friday’s weigh-in. Pucheta came in at 152.5lbs.

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